Archive for August, 2008

Winking At Wenches

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

“She shall be called his wench or his leman.” – Chaucer

What is it about a waitress wiping a table with a wet rag that evokes so much winking? I have been waitressing at The Adobe Grill now for five months and have become fascinated with the phenomena of THE WINK. Never ever in my entire life have I been winked at so often, by so many. The first time it happened, my hands stopped in mid-motion, and I stared, confused.

Wink: a semi-formal communication which indicates *shared, unspoken knowledge.

*Winker: You will get my coffee?
*Winkee: Yo recuerdo que usted toma la nata y el azúcar.
*Winker: And dessert?
*Winkee: Voy a traer su erizo.
*Winker: So, you will come back?
*Winkee: Y voy a tratar muy difícil no derramar nada a usted.

So confusing. I was not sure which unspoken knowledge we were sharing. And when did I start thinking in Spanish? Could it be just amusing, innocent flirtation? Wife’s right there, and I did get his coffee, remembered the cream and sugar, the favourite dessert, and delivered it on time and intact.

Then it happened again. I’ve passed it off to poor lighting, dry contact lenses, mistaken identity, wishful thinking and/or arrival at Margaritaville. But it keeps happening. And there is no pattern to it. Old, young, attractive, not, single, coupled. Last week, my first female winker. The winkers cover a broad spectrum. I am being winked at. I am averaging two or three winks per week.

I went to an authority on waitresses, not that he is one, but Jonah knows all the waitresses on Main Street. He dismissed my incredulity immediately. “A waitress’s duty is to move around and break hearts. And it’s simple. It’s the food. You serve a man food, and you’re going to get winked at.” He has a point. Five years of delivering only food for thought at the bookstore and nary a wink.

I may have to admit that all this winking is tied in to the perception of waitress, or serving wench. A wench is bodacious, unrestrained by convention or propriety. And I know that I am not the better waitress there, but I am the best. A 1912 study based on phrenology revealed that redheads make the best waitresses. Phrenology claims to tell a person’s character from the shape of their skull. Once popular in the 19th century, but considered to be one of the more dubious sciences, it is now a defunct field of study. In 1912 some redheaded waitress had the best head massage ever and walked away laughing. Unspoken knowledge, no winking required.

After reading a Marion Roach book called “The Roots of Desire,” I was especially intrigued by my heritage. Less than 4% of the world’s population is naturally red-haired. It is by far the colour most bought in a box. And red hair is a genetic mutation that emerged 50,000 years ago in Africa. It was only in 1995 that the gene for red hair, MCIR, was discovered.

I read of little known facts, that redheads are harder to sedate, requiring 20% more anesthesia. This has been my own personal experience. When needle after needle did not freeze me at the dentist’s, he persevered until I overdosed. That’s when I chose to have dental work done without anesthetic from then on.

Aristotle’s take on redheads was that they were emotionally unhousebroken. I won’t disagree.

So if you nictate (from nicere, to beckon), I will too (nictitate: briefly shut the eyes). Give me a moment to compose myself and reconfigure my tally. In Nigeria a wink is the signal for children to leave the room. This walking, writing, wench of a waitress will return with your fare.

Good Life

Wendy, le inspiró la diversión con el español. Gracias!
Y Tom, muchas gracias por la clave de acento teclas!